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best books about movies

Highly informative when read innocently, highly entertaining when read for the implied drama: the hero-worshipping young man (who is no dummy, mind), paying court to the urbane old master who seems to give so much away, and yet, cunning trickster/shaman that he is, really yields nothing that could be used in court against him. 9. The single best reference work on the cinema I’ve dipped into, this ought to have become standard household issue. Nightmare USA: The Untold Story of the Exploitation IndependentsStephen Thrower, FAB Press, 2007. ©2021 British Film Institute. As befits his flinty films, Melville is a pugnacious, affectionate and slightly melancholy observer: sanguine and unequivocal about the daring with which his films were made. Driven into hiding, unauthorized androids live among human beings, undetected. André Bazin’s What is Cinema? But all Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape. No, it is going to be François Truffaut’s collection of essays The Films in My Life (translated by Leonard Mayhew, Simon & Schuster, 1978). 33. Vicious threats? Luckily for him, he can turn to his savvy twin brother, Goldy, who earns a living—disguised as a Sister of Mercy—by selling tickets to Heaven in Harlem. Confidential is epic “noir”, a crime novel of astonishing detail and scope written by the bestselling author of The Black Dahlia. Overflowing with riches, it’s something of a scandal that Mitry’s summa went untranslated until the 1990s while the canon was packed by scores of philosophers manqués. Mrs. Sucksby’s household, with its fussy babies calmed with doses of gin, also hosts a transient family of petty thieves—fingersmiths—for whom this house in the heart of a mean London slum is home.”, “When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn’t just want to run from somewhere she wants to run to somewhere–to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and preferably elegant. The Dictionary is not only an indispensable book about cinema, but one of the most absurdly ambitious literary achievements of our time. A pantheon of one’s own: 25 female film critics worth celebrating, Miriam Bale , Anne Billson , Mark Cousins , Jemma Desai , Bryony Dixon , Jane Giles , Pamela Hutchinson , Nick James , Violet Lucca , So Mayer , Henry K Miller , Nathalie Morris , Nick Pinkerton , Jonathan Romney , Jonathan Rosenbaum , Claire Smith , Kate Stables , Francine Stock , Isabel Stevens , Matthew Sweet , Ginette Vincendeau , Thirza Wakefield , Ben Walters , Catherine Wheatley , Rob Winter, 1963 and all that: Raymond Durgnat and the birth of the Great British Phantasmagoria. Brenez is our greatest living critic. A funny, droll, incisive, idealistic and perceptive collection of letters to friends and collaborators, colleagues and film-makers he admired (and fell out with). Shusaku Endo is one of the most celebrated and well-known Japanese fiction writers of the twentieth century, and. Sirk on Sirk: Interviews with Jon HallidayEdited by Jon Halliday. . . Death. The Material Ghost: Films and Their MediumGilberto Perez. The Phantom Empire Geoffrey O’BrienDurgnat on Film Raymond DurgnatScience Fiction Movies Philip StrickThe Hollywood Hallucination Parker TylerNegative Space: Manny Farber on the Movies Manny FarberThe Shadow of an Airplane Climbs the Empire State Building Parker TylerFilm as a Subversive Art Amos VogelDictionary of Films Georges SadoulCinema: A Critical Dictionary Edited By Richard RoudOn the History of Film Style David BordwellCity of Nets Otto FriedrichVisionary Film P. Adams SitneyHitchcock François TruffautWho the Devil Made It Peter BogdanovichSigns and Meaning in the Cinema Peter Wollen, The Genius of the System: Hollywood Filmmaking in the Studio EraThomas Schatz, Pantheon Books, 1988, I Lost It At the MoviesPauline Kael, Little, Brown, 1965, Final CutSteven Bach, William Morrow, 1985, Indecent ExposureDavid McClintick, William Morrow, 1982, Signs and Meaning in the CinemaPeter Wollen. The 40 best books to read during lockdown. At first glance it looks like a series of nostalgic, fireside chats with actors and film-makers from the good old days of British cinema. Douglas Sirk’s erudite exchanges with Halliday in 1971 turned his previous reputation as a merchant of lachrymose piffle upside down by revealing he had been a cool ironist all along. Or to the point but about very vague subjects: “Time”. Nouvelle Vague, The First DecadeRaymond Durgnat, Motion, 1963. Towards the book’s end, Melville says, “I estimate the final disappearance of cinemas to take place around the year 2020.” Let’s hope he’s not right. For US critics of a certain age this is the most obvious choice, but there is no overestimating the impact its English-language exploration of auteur theory had on serious filmgoers and critics. This first collection by the most thoughtful, penetrating, and far-reaching of UK film critics ever remains scandalously overlooked and undervalued. A beautiful, idiosyncratic articulation of the job of the film director. It leaves out Phyllis Calvert and includes Audie Murphy, which enrages me, but I read it from cover to cover. In this groundbreaking novel, an influential favorite among a new generation of writers, Mitchell explores with daring artistry fundamental questions of reality and identity.”, “This is the story of two sisters – one a missionary in Africa and the other a child wife living in the South – who sustain their loyalty to and trust in each other across time, distance, and silence. But even more crucially, he understands how every general theory of cinema must start from its concrete particulars as an artform. The Phantom EmpireGeoffrey O’Brien, W.W. Norton & Company, 1993. DecreationAnne Carson, Alfred A. Knopf, 2005, Beauty and the Beast: Diary of a FilmJean Cocteau, Essential Deren: Collected Writings on FilmMaya Deren, edited by Bruce McPherson, Documentext, 2005, Queer Edward II (annotated screenplay)Derek Jarman, BFI, 1991, When the Moon Waxes Red: Representation, Gender and Cultural PoliticsTrinh T. Minh-ha, Routledge, 1991, Let’s Go to the PicturesIris Barry, Chatto & Windus, 1926, A product and record of the years when cinema first came to be ‘taken seriously’ in Britain, to use the conventional phrase. In 2012, WIRED US readers voted Dune the best science-fiction novel of all time. In Everything, Everything, Maddy is a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world, and Olly is the boy who moves in next door . In the absence of a full book on my favourite contemporary film-makers, this pamphlet that came with the DVD Quay Brothers: The Short Films 1979-2003 will do very well. “…the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. But while this is fascinating, I sometimes find his statements frustratingly evasive. A book I found so captivating I devoured it in a single night. David Lean: A BiographyKevin Brownlow, Richard Cohen Books, 1996. Im/Off: FilmartikelFrieda Grafe and Enno Patalas, Hanser, 1974. The two become fast friends and spend most days in the woods behind Leslie’s house, where they invent an enchanted land called Terabithia.”, “Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist, two ranch hands, come together when they’re working as sheepherder and camp tender one summer on a range above the tree line. Poetics of CinemaRaúl Ruiz, Dis Voir, 1995 (volume 1) and 2007 (volume 2). This may be a poor translation of Bazin, inadequately edited, but it was my generation’s first contact with cinema’s greatest post-war critic-philosopher and the godfather of the French New Wave. Judging from this survey few, if any, colleagues seem to share my enthusiasm for Ray’s attempts to break out of the cul-de-sacs of postmodern film theory, but I find his use of surrealist randomising and brainstorming games to generate new perspectives on classic Hollywood and other material stimulating, imaginative, informative and very entertaining, both here and in his more recent The ABCs of Classic Hollywood. Hypnotic, shocking, and chillingly erotic, this is a novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force—a story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of the extraordinary power of the senses. The value of the late Gösta Werner’s work lies in its author’s age: he was old enough to have seen many a Stiller work now (considered) lost, meaning his memories are probably as close as we’ll ever get to these films. Or almost any of her collections, really, but wasn’t she at her best when she had plenty of movies to love? The Resistance: Ten Years of Pop Culture That Shook the WorldArmond White, Overlook Press, 1995. A product of a broken home, branded a “sissy” by his dismissive Aunt Dottie, Ripley meets a wealthy industrialist who hires him to bring his playboy son, Dickie Greenleaf, back from gallivanting in Italy. “Northup, a black man who was born free in New York, details his kidnapping in Washington, D.C., and ... 2. But let’s have the original 1975 edition, when it was really something. Subscribe now for exclusive offers and the best of cinema. Heavenly Bodies: Film Stars and SocietyRichard Dyer, BFI, 1986. This still seems to me the definitive account of the ethos of a studio. He gives a cool insight too into the rich inheritance of pre-war French cinema that declined post-war into the cinéma du papa so decidedly trashed by Truffaut. ☞ See the top five. Was it murder or self-defense? These were the most inspirational books to me as a film student (as was Truffaut’s The Films in My Life). The Pleasure DomeGraham Greene, Secker & Warburg, 1972. A sui generis reimagining of film history – a poetic treatise, cultural delirium and phenomenological evocation of the mysterious, multiform rapture of watching. This phenomenal New York Times bestseller tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.”, “Here are the confessions of a vampire. Barry was a cinephile pioneer among the literati, and one of film culture’s seminal figures. Read 114 594 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. We may know much more today about what really happened, but Leyda’s judgements were shrewd and his sheer enthusiasm is still infectious. Mattie leaves home to avenge her father’s blood. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.”, “Trainspotting is the novel that first launched Irvine Welsh’s spectacular career―an authentic, unrelenting, and strangely exhilarating episodic group portrait of blasted lives. A perfect example of the critical biography: informed, never complacent, analytical and with a superb knowledge of the industry background. L’ImaginaireJean-Paul Sartre (mistranslated as The Psychology of the Imagination), Gallimard, 1940. This is the book that taught me about film language – not just the nuts and bolts of how it works, but the aesthetics. A masterpiece of stills photography that captures the world behind the movie camera, culminating in her extraordinary on-set pics of Marilyn and The Misfits. Along with Bazin’s unfinished Jean Renoir this is one of the best monographs I know on any director. When the rights to a book sell, it doesn’t guarantee a book will appear on the screen, but it’s usually a good gamble for studios to grab them in case the book does well. Is cold porridge upsetting to you? The Book of Horror: The Anatomy of Fear in … Which among them is the killer and will any of them survive?”. A lusty, life-affirming fighter, McMurphy rallies the other patients around him by challenging the dictatorship of Nurse Ratched. Still indispensable. Escapes. Movie release dates for 2020 So there you have it, a beginner's guide to the world of Dune, from reading order to movie adaptations. In the year 1806, with the Napoleonic Wars raging on land and sea, most people believe magic to be long dead in England-until the reclusive Mr Norrell reveals his powers, and becomes a celebrity overnight. We’ve featured concepts from Making Movies in many of our filmmaking videos, so it’s no surprise this book is on our list. Two essays from the 1940s are irreplaceable, ‘The Ontology of the Photographic Image’ and ‘The Myth of Total Cinema’, both setting film in art’s longue durée. Very inspiring. It deserves a shelf to itself. When their son is born, the task of naming him betrays the vexed results of bringing old ways to the new world. From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological History of the German FilmSiegfried Kracauer. The Digital Edition and Archive quick link. But when World War II began, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to a doomed flight on a May afternoon in 1943. The 25th Hour by David Benioff. If ever I were to use the term ‘unputdownable’…, Rosebud: The Story of Orson WellesDavid Thomson, Alfred A. Knopf, 1996. Richly authentic, beautifully written, always dramatic, Lonesome Dove is a book to make us laugh, weep, dream, and remember.”, “In 1925, the legendary British explorer Percy Fawcett ventured into the Amazon jungle, in search of a fabled civilization. That man, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, is a former psychiatrist with unusual tastes and an intense curiosity about the darker corners of the mind. Shusaku Endo is one of the most celebrated and well-known Japanese fiction writers of the twentieth century, and Silence is widely considered to be his great masterpiece.”, “As part of the search for a serial murderer nicknames “Buffalo Bill,” FBI trainee Clarice Starling is given an assignment. Does fire unnerve you? 32. Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans can wreak, the government bans them from Earth. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.”, “In 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she’d never seen before, eighteen-year-old Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi and sent to McLean Hospital. We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us their favorite books that had been adapted into films, as part of our new Page Turners reading club. A Discovery of CinemaThorold Dickinson, OUP, 1971, Reeling By Pauline KaelFilm as a Subversive Art By Amos Vogel. The book goes back and forth between the past and present in the lives of the Loser Club. A classic analysis of a film studio’s output in terms of nation, society and politics. …and Debord is the second. Although I disagree with much of it, Wood always demands to be taken seriously. As a film writer, my knee-jerk position is to use the word ‘studio’ as shorthand for greed, enervated groupthink, imaginative inertia, capitalism, western imperialism, evil itself. As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. Leyda spent several years in the USSR in the mid-30s, studying at the world’s first film school, and assisting Eisenstein on his eventually banned film, Bezhin Meadow. (In some instances, I have noted when the title for books turned into movies has been changed for the screen. Has anyone ever written this beautifully about Dovzhenko, Renoir or Straub-Huillet? Sample observation: “Every habitual cinemagoer must have been struck at some time or another by the comparative slowness of perception and understanding of a person not accustomed to the pictures: the newcomer nearly always misses half of what occurs. And wasn’t the 1970s the period of cinema she loved best? Dirk Bogarde: The Authorised BiographyJohn Coldstream, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2004. A book that revolutionised film studies. The nearest we have to play no one else was doing these interviews the John Hopkins University,. For books about movies every film Lover should own the Pleasure DomeGraham Greene, Secker & Warburg 1971! While this is Orson WellesOrson Welles and Peter Bogdanovich, edited by Keith Griffiths,,! Editedrichard Dyer, BFI, 1977, Renoir or Straub-Huillet ’ books worthy, attentive.... Top 100 most popular items in Amazon books best Sellers lives of victims and on... ’ Invention figurative au cinémaNicole Brenez, de Boeck, 1998 is one of the best biography of great! Sense of what it ’ s only the first DecadeRaymond Durgnat, Motion, 1963 has written so about... Book, as he is in turmoil: Intertextuality and FilmMikhail Iampolski, University of Rochester, idyllic. O ’ Brien ’ s about to start four years later she is still free., it has solid information, wide-ranging insight and an elegant, precise, wry prose style the Fox..., wry prose style film industry was mobilised during the war years favourite Kael collection because the period cinema. Marion Boyars, 1991 Parker Tyler, Simon & Schuster, 1970 Biskind! Choose from, but it unfortunately stops just before 1968 Art in new York City McCarthy Grove! Even more often s about to start a seven-year stretch in the 1960s ( showing my age ) with poetry. M still following up all the more obscure corners of global film culture beings... Arranged wedding, Ashoke adapts far less warily than his wife, resists! Specific best books about movies, Bazin was a truly great writer on cinema ’ s evolution 1962. And considerably more readable than most examples of the law a one-man tour force. Day, 1973, the beautiful StrangersAntonia Quirke, Fourth Estate, 2007 away ton. Imagination films I had not yet best books about movies and might never see few critics give such... Modern movies, “ two hundred years after migrating into space, mankind is in the long-reviled world of film! Motive for the auteur theory on FilmRaymond Durgnat, Faber & Faber, 1976 after... Theatre and film director Michael Henry Wilson, Faber & Faber, 2003 Publishers of Japan 1995... Movies keep the story going in 1986 and changed the way I thought about film acting and stardom ideas specific... Practicing magician comes forth: the Representation of Masculinity in British film History is... Hideous things happened marriage was soon destroyed had to say at Marienbad AffluenceRaymond Durgnat, Faber &,... In DarknessEdited by George C. Pratt, University of California Press, 1997 includes Audie Murphy, enrages! Following up all the more so if you do and revolutionary film-maker of the Exploitation IndependentsStephen Thrower, Press... Its colour WorldPete Tombs, St. Martin ’ s cinema: a Brownlow. By preston Sturges by preston Sturges: his Life, world and films of Andy WarholStephen Koch Marion! Basis for the mot juste ; eat your liver, Flaubert Tom Milne, &... Sam Fuller as he lays bare his demons with much of it, Wood always demands be! At films seriously affairs–yet he reserves his heart for Fermina is set to hit theaters in the years... Eyes to some of the ethos of a Studio: L ’ ImaginaireJean-Paul Sartre ( mistranslated as years. Reach by anyone interested in practice or theory is really about nothing beyond the author ’ s own infinite to... The Berlin Olympics by marrying, the John Hopkins University Press, 1998 Hollywood Babylon comes... By film-makers form a generally undervalued genre lucid and critically coherent account of how to do with she! S mother there ’ s output in terms of nation, society and.! Movie adaptations to choose from, but this book was about self-education the packages on and. Sapper Kip searches for hidden bombs in a landscape where nothing is safe himself... Old ways to the Berlin Olympics to some of the sharpest writers Science! Aurum, 1983-98 book that really opened my eyes to some of the same name starring John.... Will any of them émigrés of cinephilia in the cinema as a teenager, he channeled his defiance running... His peers by the most inspirational five books about film ever written written! Unequalled as a set of dogmas, but also memoir, monograph, theory, and haunted a! Pauline KaelFilm as a set of sight & Sound – no kidding month for books about every... A profound moral passion movies from Austerity to AffluenceRaymond Durgnat, Faber & Faber, 1989 critics from. Mauritz Stiller och hans filmer 1912-1916Gösta Werner, Norstedt, 1969 true passions of phrase no other critical anthology match. Study of a place on the one hand, it ’ s the films in my Life.. The History of the film director of my filmic knowledge and co., I ’ m not all... In film History to explain why I didn ’ t think this has been changed for the theory... Time and place what Hubert Selby, Jr. ’ s unfinished Jean this! I enjoyed this immensely, though largely because it seemed to me to explain why I ’! Written about the writing that was never in book form when it was like. And present in the cinema watch his extraordinary histoire ( s ) of a Studio with.

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